I am dreaming of a green Christmas

Life has been hectic for the past while, organising for our Christmas event this Saturday. Make sure you spread the word around! I should be writing a much longer blog but a few words are better than nothing (trying to divide my time between school, interviews advertising the event (see our resource page) and taking part in a few events about the circular economy. We have some funds now to update our website, so hopefully we will improve it for the better (any volunteers who would like to help?) . After Saturday, I will have more time to write a longer blog and look at all of our activities this past year and what is coming for 2020. We already have a good few events coming up. So please get in touch if you have any spare time. They usually run at the weekends.

I hope to see you on Saturday, and please share the event as widely as possible. We want to make it a yearly tradition! https://atomic-temporary-154742033.wpcomstaging.com/christmas/


Two days, two events, two communities

So, back from the holidays we had to jump straight into our work. We were very pleased to have been invited to two different events over the month of August. The only tricky issue was that they were back to back (22nd and 23rd of August) but we managed just right. We even had time to attend a radio interview at Cambridge 105!

On Thursday, we had our Toy Swap and Toy Art and on Friday we also had a toy swap and our Toy Repair Café. Despite the hear, our repairers worked on 10 items, with 90% success rate. You can find some picture of the day on our twitter account @ToyRecycling.

We are delighted the word is getting around and we are now getting ready for our next event as part of Queen Edith’s Community Action Morning on September 7th.

Enjoy the rest of the summer!


A Circular Economy Family Day Out

What a wonderful day we had at Storey’s Field Centre this past weekend. We took over the entire centre and spread our friends’ knowledge all around. We cannot thank them enough for their time and effort in making our circular economy family day out a success. We were also delighted to have had the Deputy Mayor of Cambridge attending the event.

But most rewording of all, was to see the children enjoying themselves and having fun at every single activity we had for them, including a circular economy detective’s trail!

Hopefully, we can repeat it next year, so please help us spread our message across about toy recycling, about teaching children (young and old) about the circular economy and how every little action we do, either big or small, can help to make our planet a better one.

Our calendar is already getting filled up for the next few months, so please keep an eye on our website or twitter (@ToyRecycling). August 22nd (NCCP Family and Sports Day), August 23rd (Orchard Park Nature Day), September 7th (Queen Edith’s Environment Morning) and October 20th (Cambridge Junction, as part of the Festival of Ideas). Some more dates in September and October to be confirmed.

And of course, here is a link to our twitter with some pictures of the day. Enjoy!


The Circular Economy: Re-use/Repair/Recycle What to do with our waste?

How do we create awareness from the bottom-up about waste, recycling and the circular economy?

How can children can put into their own words what they understand by these concepts, thus internalising and bring into practice what they learn from the day?

The Circular Economy concept is becoming more widely used by businesses and in politics. Children are told to care for the environment, but is there anything else that they should learn about in order to care for the environment better? We think yes.

By bringing the concept of circular economy to children’s level and making children active participants of how they can contribute to saving the environment, we hope to help with their learning and hopefully have a better attitude towards recycling and to think about waste (starting by not throwing away their unwanted peas).

We have selected July 20th as it is the last weekend before the summer holidays. We believe that by giving children something to think about (before their summer break) they can start to put into practice whatever learning they get from the day into their daily lives.

So please share the word around and come and join us on July 20th, 11-2pm at Storey’s Field Centre, CB3 1AA.


The seven numbers inside the “triangle made of arrows” and their meaning

Ever wonder what the numbers inside the “triangles made of arrows” means? It is basically the standard classification of plastics. It means plastics are divided into seven different types and some are recycled more often than others.

Numbers 1, 2 and 5 are recycled the most, while 3, 6 and 7 almost never. Number 4 sometimes (source: BBC https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45496884).

According to the British Plastic Federation, most plastic can be recycled,
“however the extent to which they are recycled depends upon technical, economic and logistic factors. Plastics are a finite and valuable resource, so the best outcome after their initial use is to be recycled into a new product to be used again, and then again, and so on. ” (source: https://www.bpf.co.uk/sustainability/plastics_recycling.aspx).

So, is it time to re-think the consumer approach, explaining the general public how plastic is classified so everyone can understand what the numbers means? A little explanation would go a long way (or perhaps not?).

What do you think?


So we cleaned our local playground

Hard to believe but we collected 17kg of rubbish! We had a brilliant turn-out, people from all walks of life, including mothers with their tiny infants helped out on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

While it was brilliant to see the enthusiasm, it was equally sad to realise how much rubbish there was. People are asking already when we are hosting the next one. So, we feel it will be a permanent feature, at least at the end of summer to do another clean up.

The City Council, via their SOS Volunteers department (especially Wendy and Chris) were wonderful at providing us with the equipment and refreshments for the day.

So keep your eyes open for the next clean up date!


February Toy Swap

What a great turn out we had on our latest toy swap! Over 150 people (including children) and an estimate of 1,300 toys overall (donated and brought on the day) were placed across five long tables. It is often hard to get people to engage with new activities, especially when those activities take place outside the city-centre, so thank you very much for your support.

We are often asked about how much waste-reduction can we achieve by what we are trying to do. Well, the answer is up to you. Encouraging and explaining to your little ones about why it is important to reduce waste and how by our actions, as small as they might seem, we can still make a difference.


Why there is no recycling symbol in most toys?

So to start our first post, have you ever looked at a toy and see if it has the recycling symbol? just out of curiosity? or because you do not know what else to do with yourself while the baby sleeps or the little one has temporarily let you breathe… Well, it is simple, just turn the toy around and check, most likely you will find nothing (other than where it was made, CE mark, copyright, and others). Some new toys do have the symbol and it is great, so as grown-ups we know they can be recycled, but it is the minority. Even then, many new toys do not indicate if they are recyclable despite the fact that recycling has been going on for a while, so the question is WHY THERE IS NO RECYCLING SYMBOL IN MOST TOYS?

So, if anyone has any ideas please let us know.

We would love if anyone from industry could share some light into this and if they plan to do something to help us keep our and our children’s planet clean.